Friday, July 29, 2016

Winter picnics

When winter sets in and it rains for days and days in Cape Town we start to long for summer again! I know we need the rain desperately - that long soaking rain that fills our dams so we can enjoy summer again with no water restrictions! 

At the first ray of sunshine I decided it was a good time to pack a picnic lunch and head to the common. The Noordhoek common has its own beauty in winter and is only a short 10 minute drive away. 

The beauty of the little forests of bare trees and squirrels scampering up and down the trees is so beautiful. 

There are little streams flowing through the common and horses grazing in the green water soaked fields. Winter days have their own beauty.

We made or way to the bench as the fields were still a little wet from all the rain during the week. 

The beauty that surrounds us! 

We have been coming to the common for years with the girls. Hope has had birthday parties here in summer. We have come to picnics with friends and parties with friends. We have walked our dogs and played in the little streams. Such special memories of this swing! 

I love picnics! Packing the food and finding a spot to throw down a blanket and then chatting and relaxing in the beauty of nature. 

I am so glad my girls still love to go on spontaneous picnics and also still love this swing! They had so much laughter and fun spinning! 

The beauty of winter trees and the crisp, cold air.

When you spin and spin and laugh until your stomach hurts! 

May we never be too old to have a swing!!

"The greatest oak was once a little nut who held its ground." 

Catching the rays of sunshine on a cold winters day. 

My girls bring me so much happiness  and laughter. My greatest joy is watching them grow up into beautiful kind, generous, loving, brave young ladies. 

Shirley xx 

Friday, July 22, 2016

Kommetjie / Daily Life

We are back from our break in the mountains and on Sunday it was a beautiful warm sunny winters day. When the sun shines  during the cape winters - everyone takes the opportunity to spend time outdoors - and soak up the much needed SUN!!  

We decided to catch the sunshine down at Kommetjie beach. There is a very easy walk from the beach all the way along the ocean to the Slangkop Lighthouse. The sandy path leads onto a boardwalk which leads you to views of the mountains, lighthouse and beautiful ocean views. 

We have been on this walk many times over the now 17 years we have been living here and it is still one of my favourite places to walk! 

The sky was so blue and clear that you could clearly see the back of Table mountain! So magical! 

I have always loved to sit and watch and listen to the waves! It really calms my soul and I feel so energised and refreshed. My dream is to live in a house overlooking the ocean!! 

  Surfers paradise! 

Paradise found! 

Soaking up the sunshine with my girls ....  before school starts and its back to the daily grind! 

"She smiled at the ocean because the waves told her story "  r.m.drake 

Sunset over Kommetjie -  5:57 pm   

Friday, July 15, 2016

4 days at Black Eagle Lodge / Travel Diary

We have been planning and thinking about our 4 day holiday to Black Eagle Lodge for a few months now. Our girls each took a friend with them for the first time and it was so exciting as we packed the car and made our way out of Cape Town. It was only an hour later when we made our first stop on our trip to  the beautiful seaside town of Hermanus.

Hermanus is a very picturesque little seaside town with lovely restaurants, art galleries, deco shops. In the months from September when the southern right whales visit, the little town comes alive with tourists trying to find a spot on the beautiful boardwalk to catch a glimpse of these beautiful whales. 

I really love this little town and I especially love the sculptures that are on the edge of the cliffs overlooking the ocean. This one in particular - " Stairway to heaven" is so clever and eye catching.

As we meandered down onto the rocks and boulders we took a moment to reflect on the beauty that surrounded us. It was a cool winters day and definitely a perfect opportunity to take a leisurely walk.

I absolutely love the ocean and seaside towns and I could quite easily have unpacked my bags right here in Hermanus for 4 days! To sit and watch and listen to the ocean is so calming for the soul.

These beautiful cliffs are easy to walk and explore or just sit quietly and reflect.

From the cliff looking back to the town centre you can see another sculpture which is my favourite. 

Talor has such an eye for photography and has started making short films which I am so excited about! Our camera equipment is growing - we have our Canon camera, our phones and now a gopro. 

We took so many photos of these beautiful cliffs and rocks that it has been so difficult to try and choose a few! 

                   This huge metal sculpture stands majestically  overlooking the cliff out to sea. I love this                         scuplture!

             My girls have grown up so quickly and I cannot believe Talor is nearly 16 and as tall as I                      am! She is beautiful inside and out!

We found a lovely restaurant with a magnificent view over  Hermanus and had a lovely lunch.

I took a walk around the town centre and found this gorgeous Tuscan Villa - Auburge Burgundy,  which is Guest House. 

Auburge Burgundy is a beautiful place to stay for a few days if you are wanting the tranquility of a seaside holiday. It is a stone throw away from the sea and the town centre and has the most magnificent views of the ocean.

Only 20 minutes from Hermanus on a gravel road we found our way to our lodge in the mountains for the next 4 days. The clouds cleared after lunch and blue sky and sunshine appeared as we reached our solar powered stone Lodge.

The view from the front of the house overlooks this picturesque dam. This little dam is a fresh water spring but was icy cold!! 

The very first thing we did when we unpacked and found or rooms was to make a cup of tea! I absolutely love these walls of stone!

On holiday at last and time to relax with family and take time to read and go for walks, cycle and enjoy this time together.

Our very comfortable lodge set at the foot of the mountains with no other houses or people in sight. The lodge is surrounded by fynbos and beautiful proteas. There are hiking tracks, cycle tracks and a trout dam for catch and release fishing. It is so pretty and tranquil here.

Our first morning we woke to this magnificent sunrise. There were clouds as far as the eye could see. So beautiful and peaceful.  

Life on a farm in the country slows you down so there is time to read and contemplate. I think this is the pure joy of living close to nature. It was so still and quiet. 

It was so wonderful having the girls friends with us. Talor and Michelle have been friends since preschool and the laughter and games and fun they had together is such wonderful memories.

The colours and clouds of the countryside. 

We all decided that we will come back to this beautiful place in the summer when we can kick off our shoes and put on our bikinis and jump into this blue fresh spring that greeted us every morning.

"Your heart will pursue what you value as your treasure." Matthew 6:20

Hope and her friend Josie found every opportunity to jump on their bikes and ride as fast and far as they could on the endless gravel farm roads. The fields were long and wide and a beautiful bright green. Farm activities included sheep and cattle, grain and  apples and pear trees.

Hope is a natural mountain biker. She absolutely loves being in the country and could very easily live on a farm. The wide open spaces and freedom of the country are so appealing to her adventurous nature. It was hard for Hope to say goodbye to this place.

Hope is happiest when with her friends having fun and is always full of laughter!

Talor took this beautiful photo of these  protea  that cover the mountainside surrounding our lodge. 

Talor is always planning and thinking of photo and video ideas. She is a natural photographer with an excellent eye for a "perfect" photo shot! I am so proud of her! We took a walk through the fields of green and beautiful fynbos and hundreds of trees of proteas. 

My husband Rowan is his happiest in the country and mountains. He absolutely loved every minute of cycling and running many kilometres on these farm roads. It was such a wonderful rest and holiday for him!

Finding flower treasures in between the proteas. These are so tiny but magnificent.

Hopes friend Josie is a special friend from preschool. They really wanted to swim in this fresh water spring but we are going to have to come back in summer! The water was icy cold!! 

We decided to take a 20 minute drive to the little country town of Caledon. There are beautiful natural hot water springs in this town. We spent a few hours in the many pools and jacuzzi where the temperature of the spring water was between 24 - 42 degrees! I spent most of the afternoon in the jacuzzi which was bubbling away at 34 degrees!!


Running through fields of green. Such joy and beauty! 

We all had such a wonderful time in this picturesque little lodge in the mountains. We will soon make our way back here for more adventures! 

Family is the most wonderful blessing. 

Shirley xx